Monthly Archives: June 2017

clematis tour

DSC_0079this is a marvelous time for clematis, when the early guys are still trucking along and the late bloomers are just starting, makes for lots of flowers that’s for sure!

Elsa Spaeth is a favorite, in my top ten , and blooms start early and carry on for weeks. Only a handful of clemmies get planted more than once here and she is definitly one. The HUGE flowers, that deep color, the vigor of  the plant, all combine to make perfection.

elsa spaeth

elsa spaeth

Betty Corning s another on my top 10 list.I here back from people I have taught telling me how happy they are to have planted her. She is a show stopper because of the sheer volume of flowers at any one time, disease free foliage and 18 + weeks of bloom. AmazingDSC_0065 DSC_0125

Another vitacella, venosa violacea is just adorable but may get a new home give she is being swamped by other plants where she is

DSC_0113Odoriba is a cross between our natives crispa and viorna. It has cool wide recurving sepals  Delicate to look at, easy to grow.

odoriba

odoriba

Catherine Clanwilliam has sure taken it’s time getting going here but after a few year is showing a little more vigor. It is rosy pink throughout  and will twist the tiniest bit after opening

catherine clanwilliam

catherine clanwilliam

a tanguitica called ‘Bill McKenzie is currently blooming way above my head in a tree. It is extremely early this year. the seed heads on this one are fantastic

 

bill mckenzie

bill mckenzie

purpurea plena elegans is a very diminutive vitacella  that really needs to be grown on it’s own to appreciate. It lives here in a large container in the pool area.

pupurea plena elegans

pupurea plena elegans

Polish Spirit has the stamina and strength of my people. It blooms so long and so hard and the vines themselves are huge. I grow it here up a covered bench and over a gate into rugosa roses AND over my black fence  It is that wonderful!

polish spirit

polish spirit

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etoille violet is another on my top ten list, it is a flowering  machine and can take quite a bit of shade. I grow it into a crabapple tree and up lattice on the north side of the houseDSC_0110 DSC_0084

this guy is clematis triternata rubromarginata  although it is far more dark purple than my other vine of this variety which is more on the reddish side and it has  green in the mid section instead of white.The flowers are very recurved and twisted like a mini-pinwheel.  It is very unusual but an up close and personal plant given it’s small and dark flowers which do not stand out from any distance.DSC_0062 DSC_0064

roguchi is a  reliable long bloomer that does not twine or climb. It’s buds are just as interesting as the opened flowers which are a very deep dramatic purple. Here it grows in a small raised bed under a maple next to and into a yellow foliaged arborvitae.

rogucci

rogucci

this one was sold to me as Snow Queen but I am sure it is Hagley Hybrid. It never fades to pale , instead remaining clearly pinky mauve with textured mid-ribs and  those dark anthersDSC_0086

speaking of dark anthers, this is Countess of Wessex  sporting some very dark anthers indeedDSC_0091

on the arbor with her is Huldine who has been in recovery mode for the last two seasons after consecutive rabbit attacks. The flowers are a little smaller than usual but much better than last years. Both grow into a very rambunctious rambling rose.DSC_0095

flueri is a very compact vine bred by Raymond Evision with  very deep dark coloring. This clematis is placed all wrong here, growing under a dark ninebark and barley visible to the world. It is on the to do list to move this next to something variegated and light so it can be seen by all.

 

flueri

flueri

These buds  and the one backward facing bloom below are from Burning Love (or Vitiwester’) which is a lovely  deep red  and has the added bonus of being crossed with a vitacella parent so it is disease resistant .

wildfire??

burning love

i am Lady Q is ever so dainty and delicate with a crisp white center and purple-pink edges. This weekend the pop up tent we were using for garden check- in on the tour went flying in the wind and took her obelisk down, but she weathered the storm quite well loosing only one of her vines.

I am Lady Q

I am Lady Q

Normally Dr.Rupell is one of my earliest bloomer, this year it is a bit behind but welcome all the sameDSC_0069

Star River has been performing quite nicely for many weeks now. I must say I do not care for the fading flowers on this one so have been regularly deadheading it.

star river

star river

Rosemoor is another dark beauty . Rosemoor used to grow here on a willow tutuer I made but last year I swapped it out for this white one and now she really pops

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Comtesse de Bouchard is another on the top ten list, you will never regret growing this a stalwart plant , easy care, generous bloomer, just a delight

comtesse de bouchard

comtesse de bouchard

Last but not least are two herbaceous clematis. Arabella has been going strong for 4 weeks  , I may start a herbaceous top ten list just so I can add this beauty to it.

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a

C. recta is in full bud and ready to become a froth of bloomDSC_0089

and two that are done blooming for now but showing off some funky see heads

freemontii

freemontii

omishiro

omishiro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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curious

This weekend the  Garden in the Burrow was open to visitors on the  City Spaces Country Places garden tour to benefit Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston ,MA. Every time any gardener has visitors who are also gardeners it s always interesting to see which  plants get asked about ,and on consistently   there is one that surprises me every tour ; yellow loosestrife or lysimachia punctata.

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This plant from the primrose family  has been grown as an ornamental since Victorian times  and is a very long bloomer. Sometimes called whorled loosestrife because of the arrangement of the strikingly bright yellow flowers, it could just as easily be called the whorled thug, .

My original plants were lysimachia punctata‘ Alexander’ which is delightfully variegated and far less agressive than lysimachia vulgaris (which given good moist soil will take over just about any space very quickly.)

.Image result for loosestrife alexander

The spread  of ‘Alexander’ may have been slower, but like many variegated plants they started to revert back to all green ( green=more chlorophyll=stronger growth)  and although I tried to keep pulling the green shoots eventually I lost the battle in all but one small space. No matter though because just a few minutes during growing season pulling the growth where it is not wanted is all it needs to keep it in check. Be warned , any root pieces left in the ground will sprout into new plants so if you are trying to eradicate it permanently you work will be much more difficult and take more than one season.DSC_0037

where I let it remain in it’s all green leaved version is in front of a black wrought iron  fence where it fills out under   my collection of eucomis or pineapple lily  grown in pots and several very vibrant daylily varieties. Yellow loosestrife produces  no nectar but does offer lots of pollen to bees and flies . This loosestrife joins it’s family member , the purple leaved lysimachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’ which I let spread all over the back 40 as it so easy care, rabbit proof and great for foliage in arrangements( and it gets just as much attention when in bloom).

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While i do not recommend adding either of these to small gardens , in mine they serve a purpose and are definitely eye catching. Every tour I get asked numerous times what the plant is , and I always honestly tell people it’s aggressive nature  so they are informed before they plant. I am sure it turns many away , but they can always enjoy it here.

 

The second most asked about plant is a little more uncommon and completely different in just about every way from the lossestrife. It is a plant that has undergone so many name changes i actually don’t know where it ended up finally but I bought it as Centaurea pulchra major and after a few shifts the Beth Chatto Gardens website lists it now as Rhaponticum centauroidesNo automatic alt text available.

. It is a lovely yet harmless thistle looking plant with gray jagged leaves and the flowers look very artichoke like except they are quite squishy. Every tour when they are in bloom I never fail to see someone standing there curiously squishing them then looking for a label. I know of no  nursery that regularly carries this plant , nor a reliable seed source to offer you. This year for the first time I am going to try to save and germinate some because the three I have are not enough.

“Thistle” is a sort of general garden term referring  plants that have jagged and often prickly leaves with flowers that have share that unique thistle form we are all too familiar with when we weed. I grow globe thistle ( echinops spcs) and sea holly (erygium spcs) and cardoon (cynara cardunculus)   which all have the same sort of leaves and curious thistle- like flowers and I would love to have more “thistles” scattered throughout the garden as a foil to the more typical flower forms. .

cardoon

cardoon

 

globe thistleEchinops in particular is a pollinator magnet and I have seen some cool cirsiums featured in Garden’s Illustrated magazine , my brain is spinning with thistle ideas and I think a new Pinterest board keeping track of them all is in order.

Back to the tour: we had about 175 visitors who all seemed to enjoy the various garden rooms , the unusual garden ornamentation, and of course the pool.

Curious that very rarely grown plants like the climbing asparagus, the climbing aconitum, the many herbaceous clematis, never get any love. It just goes to show you that  if used well any plant can be a show stopper in a garden and common doesn’t have to be boring.

Thanks for all who visited , your support for Tower Hill is appreciated  and I hope you left if a little inspriation to take back to your own gardens.

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things look pretty good around here

2017 has been pretty good to the garden so far ( am I jinxing myself?)

a pretty mild winter and late spring meant no late kill of buds on trees and shrubs and we had minimal loss of plants in general, there are even flower buds on ALL the hydrangeas! ( please don’t anyone eat them !)

 

unlike the past few years we had a wet spring so everything got of to a good start and I actually had time to compost and fertilize like I should instead of battling hoses and watering routines ( I like rain, let it rain, to whom should I direct my rain dances?)

at the start of bunny sex season( does that ever even stop?) when it seems litter after litter of the little buggers appear hellbent on garden mayhem,we had a visiting owl who left their beheaded carcasses all over the walkway Apparently , owls eat the brain and head and leave the body which is frankly disgusting even to this bunny hater but it meant the plants could get growing and bigger plants tolerate their chomping better. ( is there anything worse than rabbits ? , did I just invite it here by claiming victory?)

it is not all fun and games though as gypsy moth caterpillars did quite a bit of damage to the river birches and wisteria  , rose sawfly larvae attacked a rose with vicious determination , and a wet spring always means apple scab and dropped leaves for one of my crabapples that is not resistant to it. ( that seems like such  a short list, have I missed something?)

Blooming right now are 10 different roses with more in bud, within the week a bunch of  new clematis should open, with any luck the peony show will still be going , lots of weigelas are in flower   , we still have lilacs and hellebores whose show started in April , and  salvias, foxgloves, dianthus, gaillardias, sedums, smooth hydrangeas, penstemons, yarrow, lillies, mock orange, columbines, siberian iris, trandescantias, comfrey, spirea, geraniums of all sorts, honeysuckles, wisteria, calycanthus,  are all giving the bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators just what they are looking for.

 

DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0005 DSC_0013 DSC_0015 DSC_0020 DSC_0012 DSC_0014Should I be waiting for a powerful storm or hail or onslaught of deer or whatever fresh hell may be  around the bend so I can eat my words . Isn’t that always the way in the garden?

On Sunday June 25th  the garden is part of Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s City Places, Country  Spaces tour from 10-4.  If you are local you can get tickets on their website and come visit .

Seriously?   i am so happy to see  beautiful roses, peonies and clematis all blooming in tandem and right behind them all the summer bloomers gearing up for quite the show. Because it all looks spectacular, I am , of course, very worried.

. One week, one week, one week….that is all I need with no new threats of weather or varmints…one blessed week  is that too much to ask? Until then I shall be knocking on wood, crossing all my fingers and toes, looking for 4 leaf clovers, collecting horseshoes and searching for rainbows,

and weeding , always weeding ;)

ps every day I post to Instagram , you can follow my feed here to get a daily dose of beautiful blooms!

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